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Groundbreaking Online Marketplace Facilitates Last-Minute Ad Buys,Increases Revenue for Advertisers and Radio Stations

LONDON (May 10, 2007) – Bid4Spots (http://www.bid4spots.com) today announced that it is bringing its successful reverse auction marketplace for last-minute radio airtime to the United Kingdom. The U.S.-based company built this marketplace at the request of commercial broadcasters here, who evaluated various electronic platforms and chose Bid4Spots for its innovative approach to selling inventory.

Bid4Spots officially launches in the UK with its first auction on June 28, and the weekly auctions will continue each Thursday thereafter. Paul Mitchard, previously the Head of Commercial Scheduling for the UK’s biggest radio group, has been appointed to manage operations. Advertisers and radio stations can sign up at http://www.bid4spots.co.uk.

In the reverse auctions, radio stations compete for advertisers’ pounds and bid the ad rates down. Advertisers and agencies gain simple access to radio at competitive rates. Broadcasters get an easy, flexible way to sell last-minute airtime, increase revenue and attract new advertisers.

“There’s a huge need for a solution that improves the process of buying and selling last-minute radio airtime,” said Dave Newmark, Bid4Spots CEO and advertising industry pioneer. “On both sides of the Atlantic the needs are the same – advertisers want a better and more cost-effective way to reach potential customers, and broadcasters want to increase revenue. The reverse auction model does both, as its continued success in the United States demonstrates. When I came to see the UK radio groups I realized they have the same issues as we have in the United States. We chose RadioWorks to advise us in the UK, because no other company understands the marketplace as they do.’’

The value of the UK radio market is estimated to be £700 million. The relatively young industry – commercial radio began in 1973 – attracts about the same percentage of advertising budgets as radio does in the United States. By creating a more effective way to connect buyers and sellers, Bid4Spots will help what is still a nascent market maintain its position and compete in a rapidly changing advertising landscape.

“We’re bringing something entirely new to radio airtime sales,” said Mitchard. “Getting into any media at short notice in the UK has always been a challenge, but with Bid4Spots advertisers gain access to late availability airtime at potentially lower costs. Meanwhile, stations like the system because they maintain control over their inventory, even as they open it up for more revenue and new advertisers – many who’ve never considered radio in the past.

“I’ve read a lot about the Google and dMarc system, but Bid4Spots has a far greater chance of success in the UK because it lets radio stations maintain control over inventory and pricing and the trade remains confidential,” Mitchard continued. “I was blown away when I saw this marketplace in action for the first time. It’s the best method I’ve ever seen for trading unsold airtime.”

Bid4Spots’ U.S. marketplace for terrestrial radio is used by more than 2,300 radio stations nationwide, more than 1,300 advertisers and more than 260 ad agencies – effectively making it the largest radio advertising network in the country.

How the Reverse Auction Works

Bid4Spots employs a reverse auction model to allow broadcasters to compete for advertisers’ budgets. Where a standard auction invites the buyers to do the bidding and the highest price wins, in Bid4Spots’ reverse auctions, the sellers do the bidding and the lowest price wins. In this case, advertisers are the buyers, radio stations are the sellers, and the “price” is the CPT – Cost per Thousand.

Participating in the reverse auction is easy. Advertisers go to the website and announce their intention to buy airtime. They fill out a brief online form to designate demographics and maximum budget, then they upload their ads and deposit their money. Bid4Spots alerts all radio stations that fit the criteria, and the broadcasters can view the ads online and decide whether or not to participate in the auction.

The auctions will take place every Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon, during which time the stations compete for each individual ad, placing and monitoring their bids in the online platform. No long-term commitments or contracts are required from either side. Stations’ rates always remain confidential – masked by the system’s ranking index.

About Bid4Spots

Based in Encino, Calif., Bid4Spots transforms the often ineffective process of buying and selling last-minute radio spots with the industry’s first CPT-based reverse auction. Created by ad agency veteran Dave Newmark, Bid4Spots leverages the Internet to offer a flexible, fast solution that increases radio stations’ revenues by helping them leave no daypart unsold, while broadening access to radio airtime for advertisers willing to forego the selection of specific stations and advance planning, in return for potentially lower costs. Bid4Spots facilitates reverse auctions for buying and selling advertising for both terrestrial and Internet radio. Radio stations, advertisers and ad agencies can call Bid4Spots at 020 7907 0680.

Bid4Spots UK (http://www.bid4spots.co.uk/) is run by Auction Media, which is being advised by UK radio advertising specialist RadioWorks.

Media Contacts:

Ken Greenberg
Edge Communications, Inc. (USA)
(818) 990-5001
ken@edgecommunicationsinc.com

Paul Mitchard
Head of Operations
Auction Media
020 7907 0680
paulm@auctionmedia.co.uk

Stan Park
Chairman
RadioWorks
020 7907 0670
stanp@radioworks.co.uk

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